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“Couples Get Away”
Review of Hotel Riu Santa Fe

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Hotel Riu Santa Fe
Ranked #41 of 71 Hotels in Cabo San Lucas
Reviewed October 22, 2013

The grounds were beautiful and really kept up nicely. I have been to an all inclusive before so I expected buffet after buffet…after buffet. We tried to book reservations at their onsite restaurants but if you don’t make reservations weeks before your arrival you will not get in. I saw people trying to book reservations when they arrived to the resort and were told that they were too late to book. One lady said “what do you mean too late? I just got here”.

The beach is gorgeous but we were told that there was a strong undertow and to stay out of the water. The vendors are roped off and respect boundaries of the lounge chairs on the beach, but once you leave that designated area you are constantly being harassed by them wanting you to buy their widgets.

The house beer is Dos Equis which I thought was pretty cool. I have been to other all inclusives where the house beer is something you have never heard of and tastes like piss water. Tipping goes a long way. Bring lots of small bills for tipping, you will not be able to find change for large bills. . I tried to get change for a $20 bill all week and was unsuccessful. Cab drivers do not even have change (so they said) so you don’t want to have to give a $20 for a $9 cab ride.

Hotel Staff was very friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank remo555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 21, 2013

This is a great resort, 30 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the Marina/downtown. A couple said it took them 30 minutes to walk to the Marina. Centrally located to all the activities which doesn't matter because they all come with free pick up and drop off. 10 minutes walk to Costco to the right and 15 minutes walk to Walmart to the left. All the hotel staffs are extremely friendly and helpful. We got free upgrade to oceanview in tower 7, the only tower with oceanview. It is a little further from the lobby and restaurants but totally worth it...except spring break, I heard it's really loud during spring break when they party into the night down by the infinity pool.

Food: There are 5 options for dinner-Steak House, Italian, Asian, Mexican or Buffet. The buffet is amazing and is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner...practically all day! They have a wide variety of international selections to choose from, definitely my favorite and I don't usually like buffet food. With the other 4 restaurants, make sure to check what day they open. We were told it's same day reservation only at the front lobby, however I was able to make later reservations at Tower 7 concierge desk. In my opinion, the restaurants are not that good...old buffet quality food and slow service. Italian was best out of all 4 but I still prefer the buffet. If you don't have a reservation or want to show up late/early, just give your host a few bucks and you'll be fine.

Bar/drinks: Your room comes with a mini bar which includes 4 bottles of alcohol, refilled every 2 days. The fridge is stocked with beer, soda and water. There are bars all over the resort including 3 swim up bars. The drinks here are not that good, a little on the sweet side...actually really sweet! No top shelf, just the basic cheap alcohol.

The only complain I have is the Wi-Fi. You can purchase Wi-fi for $15/day or free wi-fi up to 90 minutes per day per device at the lobby. The problem is, everyone wants to get on so it's super slow, sometimes you can't even get on because there are too many people. It's a hit & miss. Local calls are 10 pesos per call, that's just stupid!

Please tip the hotel staffs, you don't have to give much just a few dollars goes a long way. The staff work long hours for very little money, your $1 make a difference. You'll notice these people will recognize you by day 2 & 3 and they will go the extra mile...special seating, show up to our reservation whenever we want (not guaranteed), coconut ice cream when it's not available, extra pillows...we asked for 2 extra pillows, we ended up with 7 pillow by the last day lol.

What's the difference between Palace and Santa Fe? I personally haven't stayed at Palace but we checked it out. For $400 more per couple per week, you get free Wi-fi. The resort is a little nicer and teeny bit closer to the beach, with more oceanview rooms. The rooms supposedly nicer but I can't confirm it. They have a few more restaurant choices. Same selections of alcohol, no top shelf either.

Either Palace or Riu, you'll have a great time!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Yen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My husband and I were happy, overall, with our experience at the Riu Santa Fe. It was our first all-inclusive and we just got back; the views are breathtaking, the pools are immaculate and the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. The staff at La Baja California (which is their buffet) was my personal favorite; even though it IS a buffet concept, they were always more than willing to get us whatever we needed if we were already seated and eating. Outside of a pretty pleasant experience, I will say that to get a good dacquiri, pina colada or margarita in that resort is tough; ask for an extra shot of liquor in those drinks or you'll only be ingesting sugar. And yes, I understand that they're not making money off of each one since it IS all-inclusive, but it's not like guests are paying chump change to stay. Also, their whole process of making reservations to eat dinner at any restaurant outside of the buffet leaves a LOT to be desired and one thing they do NOT tell you at check-in is that you can reserve for the NEXT NIGHT....we had to learn that on our own from another guest at the pool halfway through our week. With those two minor gripes, we had an amazing time at the resort and in Cabo and would definitely consider staying at another Riu in the future! But PS...careful stepping out of their bathtubs! They're elevated and the inside is pretty narrow; you could completely bite the tile on the outside and they get VERY SLIPPERY!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Staff were mostly great, the entertainment around the pool was lively, but there were issues. Day one a guest cut his foot in the pool on broken glass, the pool was not closed to be cleaned, so I never went in that one.

Checking in and transport to and from the airport was efficient and pleasant, checking out was just as easy. The customer service rep was able to print my boarding pass - good thing because the internet access - *free* wifi was sketchy and sporadic at best. The paid internet stations that you can use did not work at all.

The shows were good, and the open air plaza at night was a nice place to hang out, but most evenings the little stores closed before the shows were over, so at 10 pm you found yourself with nothing to do unless you are drinking hard.

There are two pool bars away from the main pool - they are called the "pee" pools, and we didn't go in them at all - so we had to go away from the pool to get a drink everytime. Once in a while a guy came around with a beer cart, but no mixed drinks.

Each room had it's own little mini bar, with 4 full bottles of booze, pop, water & beer, but no coffee makers. In the meantime, the coffee in the restaurants was undrinkable - they did have cappucino machines, and it was ok, but I drink my coffee black, so I was rather cranky to say the least.

The buffets didn't serve drinks, only beer, tequila and "wine". I use quotations because only in the loosest sense of the word could you call that wine, we went shopping and bought our own.

We also went shopping and bought our own coffee maker and coffee.

There were only 2 restaurants open any night, and reservations were kept to a minimum, the food was not bad, and again, service staff was great!

Food on the buffets left a bit to be desired, an lot of it was fried and greasy, some just plain tasted bad and then every so often you would get something that was just delicious. Almost all of the fish dishes were very good, the beef, chicken and pork dishes were often tough and dry.

I didn't feel unsafe at any point in the resort, but it's a big resort, and one night the power went out in my room only. I didn't have a flashlight (my own fault) so I couldn't get dressed to go out of the room. I thought I would only have to go to the elevator lobby for a phone, wrong! I had to go all the way down 4 floors to the front lobby of my building to find a courtesy phone. Then another day I had trouble working my key to my room, again, I went to the elevator lobby because now I was in a different wing of the hotel - but again, if I had needed to phone someone I would have had to walk all the way across our building to get to the front lobby for a phone. Luckily the chambermaid was coming down the hall and she rescued me from my ineptness.

Finally - my room. It was clean, tidy, safe and certainly spacious enough for two. However the bed was hard as a rock and I came home with sore hips. Don't plan on watching television to lull you to sleep, as the tv reception was poor, with lots of static, and even when I found a English language channel, it switched to Spanish at 10 pm.

My two companions were what made the trip - and the view from the pool was great!

Room Tip: Building 7 is closest to the beach and the large pool, other buildings are set back some.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank April W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

I'd stayed at a RIU before in Cancun and knew the chain to be pretty reliable and knew for the most part what to expect. My then boyfriend, now husband and I wanted to get away to a nice place at a reasonable price. This definitely served it's purpose. We had a terrific time at the RIU with the staff. The only thing we'd change is the food and the variety or lack there of beer. Towards the end of our stay my stomach was having a hard time with the food choices. I've never been much of a buffet lover and this just kind of confirmed it. The food was edible, just not a lot of flavor. And my husband really wanted something else besides Dos XX lager. So next time I think we might opt for the Palace since they have premium liquors and beers there. May be worth it for you if you think you're more finicky with your pallet. But if not then this is a great place for a getaway!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nskwurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My husband and I travel to Mexico every year in October for our anniversary and we always stay at a Riu. This was our first time visiting Cabo. I can honestly tell you we had the BEST vacation ever!!
It takes about 45 minutes to get from the airport to the resort, but it's not a bad ride. Check in was super quick and easy... we took the advice of everyone on here and requested to be in building 7. Thanks everyone! Building 7 is awesome. We had a standard king room with a great view.
Dinner reservations - I completely agree with other reviews regarding the themed restaurants and trying to get reservations. We were told you could only make ONE reservation per day. Since the resort wasn't that busy we were able to eat at the Steakhouse, Asian and Italian restaurants. Asian was the best! Steakhouse was just okay.
I highly recommended visiting the Marina and taking the glass bottom boat to the rocks. We took the city bus (only $1 each way) to the marina, had a few drinks, then headed out. The ride over to the rocks was fun! Our driver was great. Since it was our first time there we did not bring anything with us. But you can rent snorkels and buy drinks on the beach. It was awesome!
All in all it was the best time and I really have no complaints. I think if you use your in room safe all of the time, make reservations for the restaurants every morning and be prepared to eat so-so food, you will just fine!

Room Tip: Request building 7!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Courtney K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

I was a bit worried before my trip when I saw the many bad reviews on Tripadvisor about this hotel ....so I didn't expect much. But I can tell you we find this resort pretty good if you're not particularly picky. Here are some examples :

- someone left an I-phone beside the pool, the staff called out and asked who lost an I-phone.

- the bath tub in my friend's room has drainage problem, she phoned and a staff came in a reasonable time to fix it. Not long later, another staff phoned their room to follow up if the problem is fixed.

- We left something on a cab on the way back to hotel. We discovered that an hour later and told the staff at the front door, he made many phone calls and try locate the cab for us. The next day we noticed that the security guard at the hotel gate wrote down the license plate # on all cars/cabs coming into the hotel, so we tried again at the front desk and they searched 2 particular cabs which came in at the time period we specified, and try to contact them for us. Even though finally we could not find the stuff we lost, we appreciated much on their effort.

- In general, hotel staff are very nice and friendly.

Here are some suggestions which I think the hotel can work better :

- Food is too salty, doesn't matter soup or meat or seafood. I'm not sure if Mexican preferred eating salty food or what, but as for concern on health, less salty food would be better.

- We needed to book specialty dinning at 7:30 am , otherwise it's hardly to have seats. That's not good for guests, especially they are on vacation. I guess a better booking system may be used instead.

- I used the 90 min free Wifi at the lobby but that was not very steady, many other guests had
the same problem too.

A final word, enjoy your stay at the RIU Sante Fe

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Kimmy8964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Santa Fe

Address: Camino Viejo a San Jose | Cabo San Lucas, Cabo San Lucas 23410, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Baja California > Baja California Sur > Los Cabos > Cabo San Lucas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#27 Spa Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Cabo San Lucas
Price Range: $184 - $313 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Santa Fe 3.5*
Number of rooms: 902
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in the southern Baja California peninsula, 4.5 Km/2.8 Miles from Cabo San Lucas * Opened winter 2007/8 * 1-story main building and 3-story and 4-story annexes * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 3.5 Km/2.2 Miles from downtown Cabo San Lucas * 40 km/25 miles from the airport * 500 m/1650 ft from a bus stop ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas
Riu Santa Fe Los Cabos
Riu Sante Fe
Hotel Riu Santa Fe Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos

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